Bhutan is often referred to as the world’s last Shangri-La and on our remarkable Byroads tour, we explore this remote, mountainous Kingdom and witness two very unique festivals.
Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas and bordered by India, China and Tibet, Bhutan is a land of dense forests, glorious mountains, imposing architecture and superb art, well protected by its forward-thinking Monarch and constitutional government. The Buddhist religion, tradition and ancestral customs are imbued in the daily life of the Bhutanese people, and this is what truly makes a visit to this country so unique, so special.
Our journey commences in Bangkok with a flight to Paro where we and are met by our Bhutanese guide and driver. It’s a spectacular 2-hour drive to the capital, Thimphu. Over the next 11 days we will journey eastwards toward central Bhutan and the Bumthang Valley, the ancestral heartland of the country. We traverse jaw dropping ranges decorated with fluttering prayer flags and descend into impossibly steep valleys, passing ceremonial chortens and visiting many Dzongs (monasteries) enroute. Each day brings new highlights culminating in the opportunity to witness two unique Bhutanese festivals.
The Black Crane Festival takes place in the glacial Phobjikha Valley. It celebrates the arrival of migratory Black Necked cranes who fly from China to spend winter in the valley. Our second festival is the annual Buddhist Festival of Sumthrang Kangsel at Ura. Held in a stunning 13th century monastery the festival consists of tantric rituals, recitation of mantras associated with the wrathful Buddha Vajra Kila, performance of mask dances and festive fun in the evenings.
A flight then returns us back to Paro for the final two nights. Having acclimatised to Bhutan’s elevation in the lower Himalayan range it is now time to take the optional hike up to the Taktsang Lhakang at 2,950m above sea level. The temple complex seemingly hangs off the side of the mountain and is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan World.
With our adventure coming to an end, we fly from Paro to Bangkok for our onward flight home.
|Thimphu Textile Museum
|National Gallery & Folk Museum
|Sumthrang Kangsel Festival
|Pema Choeling Nunnery
|Kyichu Lhakang Temple
|Black Necked Crane Festival
|Taktsang Lhakang (Tiger’s Nest)
|National Museum of Bhutan
DAY 1 – Bangkok, 2 – Paro & Thimphu, 3 – Thimphu, 4 & 5 – Punakha, 6 – Wangdue-Kyichu, 7 & 8 – Gangtey, 9 – Trongsa & Jakar, 10 – Jakar, 11 – Paro, 12 – Tiger’s Nest Hike & Paro, 13 – Fly & End Bangkok.
Tour Cost: USD $5995
Tour Flights: USD $1260
Single Supplement: USD $570
* Paid in Australian dollars calculated on the due date using the bank buying rate for US Dollars cash.